The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the TNT Tropang Giga at 6:00 PM on December 2, 2020, live from the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Down by as high as 15 points in the second half, the league-leading Barangay Ginebra came back to life in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter to take a 2-0 series lead in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Banking on the clutch plays of Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, and Stanley Pringle, the Gin Kings escaped Tropang Giga, 92-90.
Thompson, who had nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals, only scored three points in nearly 40 minutes of action. Nonetheless, his go-ahead triple with 30.5 seconds left was instrumental to Ginebra’s second win in the bubble finale.
For his part, Tenorio scored five points in the last 18 seconds of Game 2, with his 5-of-6 from the free-throw line to ice the game.
As expected, Pringle tallied a team-high 34 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
“It was certainly a struggle for us all game long. I thought that Talk ‘N Text dominated us for more than three quarters in the game. We were able to make a run in the end. We were saying; even at halftime, we haven’t played well collectively, we haven’t played well individually,” said Cone.
“I thought that as much as LA, Stan, and Scottie did their thing down the stretch, Aljon’s contribution was just exceptional. He played with a toughness that we needed tonight. We really needed someone to step up and make the tough plays. Be a physical presence out there. He doesn’t back down to anybody, and that’s why we love him so much,” added Cone.
“When they started to stretch the lead out, we didn’t panic. We weren’t forcing things. We were still taking our time, trying to methodically work back in the game. And JD (Joe Devance) kept yelling at timeouts, ‘One point at a time. We can make it back.’ Frankly, I wasn’t so sure. JD had more faith than me,” Cone further said.
In the losing end, Roger Pogoy tallied 38 points built on seven triples. Howbeit, without question, the Tropang Giga missed the services and clutch plays from the league-leader in the statistical race, star guard Ray Parks, who sustained a calf strain prior to their Game 2 duel.
Parks, a leading candidate for the bubble conference’s MVP award, is still doubtful for the game with a strained calf muscle.
“Okay naman na sana, but we were outsmarted by them,” lamented TNT coach Bong Ravena.
“Andun pa rin naman kami kahit wala siya (Bobby Ray Parks). Lamang na nga kami, eh. Lumalamang na nga kami. It’s just that we have to finish strong. Bottom line is we have to play smarter than them,” Ravena added.
With his ward down 0-2 in the race-to-four All-Filipino finals series, Ravena further reiterated: “Yun ang kailangang gawin, kailangan malagpasan yung adversity if you want to be great. Mahaharap mo yan, eh, frustrations, failures. So kailangan laban ka lang sa sarili mo, gawin mo lang lahat ng tama.”
To win the title, Barangay Ginebra only has to win two games while TNT still has to secure four.